Wizz Air, legally incorporated as Wizz Air Hungary Ltd. (Hungarian: Wizz Air Hungary Légiközlekedési Kft.) and stylised as W!ZZ Air, is a Hungarian low-cost airline with its head office in Budapest. The airline serves many cities across Europe, as well as some destinations in North Africa and the Middle East. It has the largest fleet of any Hungarian airline, although it is not a flag carrier, and currently serves 44 countries. Its Jersey-based parent company, Wizz Air Holdings plc, is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. As of 2018, the airline has its largest base at Budapest Airport with over 60 destinations. In 2019 the airline transported 39.8 million passengers.
|Fleet size||126 (including subsidiaries)|
|Parent company||Wizz Air Holdings plc|
|Traded as||LSE: WIZZ|
|Key people||József Váradi (CEO)|
Diederik Pen (COO)
|Revenue||€2,319.1 million (2019)|
|Operating income||€299.8 million (2019)|
|Net income||€291.6 million (2019)|
The airline was established in September 2003. The lead investor is Indigo Partners, an American private equity firm specialising in transportation investments. The first flight was made from Katowice International Airport on 19 May 2004. The airline's CEO is József Váradi, former CEO of Malév Hungarian Airlines. The company is registered in Pest County (Hungary).
In November 2017 Wizz Air announced that they were planning to launch a British division called Wizz Air UK. The airline is based at London Luton, mainly to take advantage of a number of take-off and landing slots acquired from Monarch Airlines when the latter entered administration in 2017. The airline applied successfully to the CAA for an AOC and a Type A Operating Licence. The airline launched operations in March 2018 using British registered aircraft. Wizz Air UK will start to take over the flights to the UK that are currently operated by Wizz Air. Wizz Air said that the airline will employ up to 100 staff by the end of 2018.
In November 2018, it was reported that Wizz Air had announced plans to reactivate its Wizz Air Ukraine subsidiary, approximately three years after it was shut down. Under the plan, Wizz Air Ukraine will seek to complete certification in 2019 following the acquisition of twenty A320/321 neo jets. Bases will be developed in Kyiv as well as other cities across the country. By 2025, it aims to have a passenger throughput of 6 million passengers per annum. In July 2020, the airline announced that it will form a joint venture with the Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company.
Previously, its head office was at Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport. Wizz Air signed the lease agreement in October 2010 and moved there with 150 employees in June 2011. The airline occupied over 2,000 square metres (22,000 sq ft) of space in an office building refurbished after the airline's arrival. The facility, with open-plan offices, housed about 150 employees.
As is common with all European low-cost carriers, Wizz Air prefers to use smaller or secondary airports in order to reduce costs and fees incurred by service usage. It also has a buy-on-board food service called Wizz Café as well as a second service called Wizz Boutique, which is for other items.
- Current subsidiaries
- Wizz Air Abu Dhabi was founded on 12 December 2019 as Wizz Air's UAE subsidiary. The airline is a joint venture with state-owned Abu Dhabi Development Holding, ADDH, which owns 30 per cent. Flights are operated from Abu Dhabi International Airport to destinations in Europe, Asia and Africa.
- Wizz Air UK was founded on 18 October 2017 as Wizz Air's UK unit, following CAA approval the subsidiary commenced operations with 10 registered aircraft initially. The unit is currently operating flights from and to Luton on behalf of its Hungarian parent and has been set up to ensure Wizz Air retains full market access to the United Kingdom following Brexit.
- Former subsidiaries
- Wizz Air Bulgaria was Wizz Air's Bulgarian unit set-up in 2005 and based at Sofia Airport with a fleet of 3 aircraft. It ceased operations on 31 March 2011, all flights merged back into Wizz Air Hungary Ltd.
- Wizz Air Romania was a planned Romanian unit to be based at Timișoara Traian Vuia International Airport. However, this sub-unit never started operations and a base was established there instead under Wizz Air Hungary Ltd.
- Wizz Air Ukraine founded in 2008 was the Ukrainian unit of Wizz Air, which had its own air operator's certificate and operated from Kyiv Zhuliany International Airport and Lviv International Airport with a fleet of 4 aircraft. As a result of the economical crisis following Russian military intervention in Ukraine, Wizz Air Ukraine was terminated on 19 April 2015. Some routes to and from Kyiv were taken over by Wizz Air Hungary Ltd while all others ceased at the time, the airline has since begun to expand once again in Ukraine.
Wizz Air started new services between Katowice and London Gatwick in 2008. In January 2008, flights started from Gdansk to Gothenburg, Bournemouth and Coventry. In summer 2008, Wizz Air restarted summer seasonal services from Katowice and Budapest to Girona, as well as a new weekly service to Girona from Gdańsk. Other summer services from Budapest are Heraklion, Corfu, Burgas and Varna; from Katowice to Crete-Heraklion and Burgas; and Warsaw to Corfu and Burgas. It also restarted its three-times-weekly service from London Luton Airport to Burgas. On 2 October 2008, Wizz Air announced that a number of its Romanian services would have increased frequency following an order for three Airbus A320 aircraft.
In February 2012, Wizz Air announced that it would start flights from Debrecen International Airport to London, beginning 18 June 2012. On 11 September 2012, Wizz Air announced new routes to and from Tel Aviv, Israel.
On 12 April 2013 Wizz Air announced that it would start flights from Budapest Airport to Baku's Heydar Aliyev International Airport starting from 17 June 2013. On 26 June 2013, Wizz Air announced entry into the Slovakian market, adding one new route from Košice International Airport starting from September 2013.
On 26 June 2015 the airline opened its 19th base, at Tuzla International Airport in Bosnia and Herzegovina and deployed one new Airbus A320 aircraft at the airport. With one aircraft stationed at the airport, Wizz Air opened new routes to Memmingen Airport (near Munich) and Sandefjord Airport, Torp (near Oslo), commencing on 26 June 2015, as well as to Frankfurt-Hahn Airport and Stockholm Skavsta Airport, commencing on 28 June 2015.
In February 2016 Wizz Air announced a new base at David the Builder Kutaisi International Airport (serving Kutaisi in Georgia). In October 2016 Wizz Air announced a new base at Chișinău International Airport (serving Chișinău) in Moldova. In December 2016 Wizz Air announced a new base in Varna, Bulgaria.
In February 2017 Wizz Air announced a new base at London Luton Airport in the United Kingdom. Also in 2017, the company added three new routes, to Tel Aviv, Israel, Pristina in Kosovo, and Kutaisi in Georgia, for a total of over 500 routes.
In January 2018 Wizz Air announced a new base at Vienna International Airport in Austria. Three Airbus 320/321 are planned to be based in Vienna and the company will operate a total of 17 new routes from the Austrian capital.
Wizz Air began operations with a fleet of Airbus A320 jets.
|Airbus A321neo||10||176||239||Deliveries to finish in 2026|
|Airbus A321XLR||—||20||239||Deliveries from 2023 to 2026|
In November 2019, Wizz Air dismissed concerns about the damage the airline may be causing to the environment, raised by the "flightshame" movement. This dismissal was based on the airline's per-passenger emission level. The company said that it would reduce emissions per capita by an additional 30 percent by 2030. At the same time, Wizz Air condemned inefficient airlines - such as Lufthansa - offering business class and using outdated technologies, which cause far more specific environmental damage than Wizz Air.
- On 8 June 2013, Wizz Air Flight 3141, an Airbus A320-232 (registration HA-LWM) from Bucharest - Henri Coandă Airport, Romania to Rome-Ciampino, Italy, made an emergency landing at Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport when the crew encountered problems lowering one of the main undercarriages and locking it into position. The aircraft diverted to Fiumicino because of the longer runway, and firefighters applied foam after landing as a precautionary measure. The aircraft was evacuated using slides. Initial reports of injured passengers were denied by both Wizz Air and Rome Fiumicino Airport, who said some passengers requested medical checkups but reported no injuries.
By early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic, had created a case of force majeure in European aviation, gradually forcing airline fleets to land, including the majority of Wizz Air aircraft. Although it was announced in March that no redundancies were planned, one-fifth of the stock was redeemed when it became clear that air travel across the continent was shutting down.
In April 2020, based on passenger numbers, Wizz Air became Europe's largest low-cost airline with 78,000 passengers. By mid-June, they had reached 40 percent of their previous year’s normal weekly revenue, while the proportion of no-shows fell from 80 percent in April to 30 percent.
- share of routes operated in 2007-2017 still operating in 2017
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Laurus Offices | Kőér street 2/A | Building B | H-1103 | Budapest, Hungary
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